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DateLecture
21 June 2018THE ART OF THE JOKE
17 May 2018FABER & FABER- Ninety Years of Excellence in Cover Design
19 April 2018LET THE GAMES BEGIN! The Cotswold Olympics Rebound
15 March 2018A THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY: Medieval Cathedrals as Time Machines
15 February 2018FROM THE CIRCUS TO SANDRINGHAM
18 January 2018I AM A GENIUS:Artistic Identity and the Changing Status of Artists
06 December 2017CHRISTMAS DINNER and LECTURE: 'SINGE WE YULE' - A TICKETED EVENT
02 November 2017EMPIRE'S ARCHITECTURE; CELEBRATING A RICH LEGACY
19 October 2017"WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW"- A portrait of Nelson and his Captains
21 September 2017DURER: THE ITALIAN & NORTHERN RENAISSANCE - the relationship between Italian art, Dürer and the Northern Artists
15 June 201718TH CENTURY ENGLISH PORCELAIN - Chelsea, Worcester, Bow and Derby
18 May 2017THE OTHER REVOLUTION: HOW RUSSIAN ARTISTS CHANGED THE LANGUAGE OF ART ON THE EVE OF 1917
20 April 2017ADVENTURES IN PUPPETRY- A PERSONAL HISTORY
16 March 2017PASSIONS, PERSONALITIES and PATRONAGE: CHATSWORTH and the STORY OF THE DEVONSHIRE FAMILY COLLECTIONS, 1549 TO THE PRESENT
16 February 2017COVENTRY CATHEDRAL: ICON and INSPIRATION
19 January 2017DISCOVERING MacDONALD GILL: ARCHITECT, ARTIST AND MAPMAKER
07 December 2016CHRISTMAS PARTY and LECTURE: THE OX AND THE ASS: SILENT WATCHERS AT THE CRIB
03 November 2016MUSIC, MASONRY AND MANUSCRIPTS: AN INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY THROUGH MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
20 October 2016VILLAS FOR THE AGRICULTURAL AND CULTURAL ELITE
15 September 2016THE POWER OF JEWELLERY: ADORNMENT AND RITUAL FROM PRE-HISTORY TO THE PRESENT DAY
16 June 2016THE OTHER SIDE: GERMANY'S POST WWII CULTURE OF MEMORIALS and COUNTER MEMORIALS
19 May 2016WALTER SICKERT AND THE CAMDEN TOWN GROUP 1905 - 1918
21 April 2016GRINLING GIBBONS: Works in Wood, Stone and Bronze
17 March 2016THAT WOMAN OR THE DUCHESS OF STYLE - Time to Reassess Wallis Simpson
18 February 2016BREUGEL'S SCENES OF COUNTRY LIFE
21 January 2016OUT OF THE BLUE
02 December 2015THE CHRISTMAS TREE: FROM FOREST FIR TO FESTIVE FEATURE. Please note: This is a ticketed event and not one of the lectures included in the annual subscription.
05 November 2015THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE HUGUENOTS
15 October 2015SLADE PAINTERS IN DORSET: A New Exhibition
17 September 2015ADVENTURES IN THREE DIMENSIONS: 20th century sculpture in Britain
18 June 2015THE POWER and THE GLORY OF OUR COUNTRY HOUSES – Their Evolution and Changing Role
21 May 2015INN SIGNIA: The Artwork and Stories behind Peculiar Pub Names
16 April 2015THE GOLDEN AGE OF VENETIAN GLASS
19 March 2015ST PANCRAS AND FRIENDS: A Journey through London’s stations
19 February 2015UNDER THE OPEN SKY: History of Cornish Art 1880 - 1940
15 January 2015ISLAMIC ART: Exploring the Decorative Arts of the Islamic World
06 November 2014THE FASCINATING WORLD OF PLAYING CARDS
16 October 2014LIFE AND TIMES OF THE SUNDIAL
18 September 2014RESCUING ZEUGMA FROM THE FLOOD WATERS OF THE EUPHRATES
19 June 2014THE WORLD'S MOST DECADENT CITY: Paris 1850 - 1900
15 May 2014 SPIRIT of CHERET
17 April 2014PIPERS and TUNE: John and Myfanwy Piper and the Music of Benjamin Britten
20 March 2014SIGN OF THE TIMES: Symbols in Mediaeval Art
20 February 2014SCOTTISH COLOURISTS: Style and Sophistication from the Jazz Age
16 January 2014AUGUSTUS JOHN and GWEN JOHN
05 December 2013A “Dickens of a Christmas and God Bless Everyone”
07 November 2013HABITAT CATALOGUED
17 October 2013All Smoke and Mirrors: The Use of Optics in European Painting
19 September 2013BEHIND THE SCENES: Curating the Art Museum

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THE ART OF THE JOKE Susie Harries Thursday 21 June 2018

Artists have always used jokes to make serious statements – about themselves, about the world, about the nature of art. This lecture looks at artists’ jokes through the ages, from medieval monks doodling graffiti in the margins of manuscripts to Banksy turning supermarket walls into social satire. Caravaggio put his own face on Goliath's severed head as an apology for a racy lifestyle, Michelangelo hid a self-portrait on the hide of St Bartholomew on the Sistine ceiling to express the agony of creation. When Van Gogh attacked formal art education and Salvador Dali got at Picasso, they did it in paint. Trompe l'oeil, parody, visual puns, the moustache on the Mona Lisa - all in fun, all deadly serious: artists' jokes tell you a lot once you know.

About our lecturer: 

Susie Harries is a writer, editor and lecturer, specialising in 20th century culture and the arts. She has published eight books on subjects including official war art, opera and the composer Elisabeth Lutyens. The most recent is the biography of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, published in August 2011. Susie has lectured to a range of audiences, from the Imperial War Museum and British Museum to the Twentieth Century Society and the RSA, most recently at the Cheltenham and Bridport Literary Festivals and the Victorian Society.